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PFS 3-25: Storming The Diamond Gate (SPOILERS)


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Shadow Lodge **

Just finished running this for my LGS.

Ran at sub-tier 3-4 with 4 PCs (Support Bard, Alchemist, Ninja/Sorcerer, Valeros). Done in 3.5 hours, including paperwork, but only because the PCs bypassed 2 encounters and I had pre-drawn the final map. The fight with Aglorn took an hour and a half.

The party ambushed the Aspis Guards outside the Sphinx and made short work of them. The PCs donned the amulets purloined from the guards' bodies and the storage room.

The party avoided the trapped tablet. 2 characters went ahead and read the tablets, earning a profane bonus.

The Stone Guardian encounter was avoided as PCs all wore amulets (in fact, the bard wore all the spare ones at once because he wanted to be safe as possible).

The guards in the guardroom were snuck up on and fascinated/slept/charmed/etc then locked in one of the cells.

The final battle was a grueling marathon.

Aglorn cycled through his three summons while the archer went to town. Between the summons and duchess snuffing the party's advance, 3 of the 4 PCs were clustered on the first bridge. (I didn't even roll well on the summoning, Aglorn only summoned 4 out of a possible 9 creatures.)

Then Aglorn dropped a fireball on them.

The bridges have 15 HP. The fire ball hit 66% of the bridge for 22 damage. This would pretty much insta-kill 3 low level PCs with a 20d6 fall.

Maybe I should have been a little more heartless and let them fall and TPKd them, but nothing seemed more unfun and anticlimactic than doing so. I decided to give the PCs a fighting chance and ruled the bridge was on fire and falling apart, causing a mad scramble to fight past the summons and get off of the bridge.

The rest of the battle was a cat and mouse chase with spell flinging, ninja chasm jumping, dimension stepping and much happy sticking and heal potting. If not for a few low rolls by the archer (who was just a damage machine), it easily could have become a TPK. As it was, the PCs barely scraped by.

Silver Crusade **

I just played this at Dice Tower Con on Sunday. It sounds like our group had a better time with it than yours

We expected a fun game before hand, just based on what characters we knew would be at the table. We had 6 players, and we were pretty much "Team ADHD". I was playing my gnome control sorcerer, and we had a gnome alchemist who likes blowing things up, a halfling bard who was raised by gnomes and inspires courage with Perform: Comedy with bad puns actually role played, and a human wizard who is intentionally played as having ADHD (curious to a fault, highly intelligent, but not street smart enough to avoid pressing buttons as soon as he sees them). So that's 4 characters with typical gnomish personalities right there. The team was rounded out by our two front line fighters: a half-orc fighter who was dumb as rocks and just as tough and a dwarf wizard/monk who kept rolling his eyes at the gnomish behavior. The dwarf was level 5, and everyone else was 3-4, so we stuck to tier 3-4.

We didn't encounter anything outside the sphynx, which made me wonder why the GM had drawn map for that one. I suspected that we could run into guards depending on which route we took, and your posts seems to confirm that.

The fight in the guard room was pretty quick and easy. We were smart enough to pick up the amulets (after detecting magic to make sure they weren't cursed), and put them on just in case they helped.

In the trapped hallway, we figured out the explosive runes and avoided the trap. The alchemist and wizard both speak Abyssal, so they read some of the stuff on the walls and got bonuses. My sorcerer felt left out, so I used a scroll of Comprehend Languages to do the same. I ended up getting a +2 bonus to all saves for the rest of the adventure out of it, so it was totally worth the 25 gp scroll.

The half-orc decided to attack the Stone Guardian as soon as we realized it was "alive", so we had a fight that could have been avoided because we had the amulets on. Oops.

We also made friends with the demon who showed up after that fight, who surprised us by remaining our ally through the whole thing, even though we all expected him to betray us at any moment.

The guards in the guard room weren't too tough. They let the wolf out to attack us, and I decided to try my gnomish once per day Speak with Animals ability to see if I could talk it into leaving us alone. Much to everyone's surprise, with a lucky diplomacy roll (the GM let me use that instead of handle animal because I could speak to it), that actually worked. We set it free and let it leave the building, so it was happy to go away and leave us alone.

Up until the final fight, I considered the adventure a fairly normal dungeon crawl. Interesting in some of the details, but fairly standard fare. But the terrain and enemies in that final battle is what makes this adventure so very interesting, IMHO. The final fight was a marathon battle for us, too, but that's clearly intentional, and I consider it a good thing.

When we arrived at the final area, Aglorn had already summoned two giant spiders and two dire rats. Given our group's behavior, I wasn't surprised that he knew we were coming. He fireballed us in the first round, while we were still at the rocky entrance and almost all together, so he hit four of us and avoided the problem with burning the bridges that Sammy's group encountered. Luckily, the wizard and I both made our saves for half damage, or we would have gone down right there.

From there, he summoned a lemure while we were trying to go after them. Most of the party headed out across the bridges to go after the bad guys, with the gnome alchemist chugging an Expeditious Retreat to get there faster, and the halfling riding a dog, so they actually moved faster than the half-orc in armor.

My sorcerer stayed where he was by the entrance and cast Summon Monster 1 four rounds in a row. I kept summoning eagles and sending them after Aglorn. Even with a fly speed of 80, it was a double move for the eagles to get to him, but having them in his face served as a successful distraction to him. Twice, he five foot stepped away from them and shot them out of the air, then he decided to start ignoring them and taking attacks of opportunity to walk away from them before casting stuff at the rest of us. The funny part is that they kept hitting - his AC must really suck, and they had the bard's inspire courage, though it was just d4+1 damage per hit, which is probably why he didn't care.

While that was going on, the rest of the party got far enough ahead to engage the summoned critters, while the archer kept taking pot shots at them. I was just glad he left me alone. It took a few rounds for them to get rid of the rats, spiders, and lemure, with the bard doing some healing on the others along the way.

Around that time, Aglorn dimension stepped to the entrance, about 20 feet away from my sorcerer, while the others were nowhere near the area. Actually, the wizard was still on the first bridge, so he turned around and started back, while the others were still busy getting up to the archer to kill him. But remember, I play a control sorcerer. My sorc doesn't have a single direct damage spell or own a single weapon. And at that point, I was out of 1st level spells already, though two of my summoned eagles were still flying around, so they double moved back to keep bugging him.

So to keep him from running away, I shook the ground underneath him to trip him (Deep Earth bloodline power), which worked. When he stood up, he took attacks of opportunity from both eagles, then cast a spell at us. After that, my eagles started disappearing due to the duration of my summon spell. The next round, I hit him with a tanglefoot bag to keep him from going anywhere. My final eagle disappeared the following round, but the wizard managed to damage him with a flaming sphere, and I got a crit with an alchemist fire for 9 HP damage (only the 2nd time this PC has done any direct damage to an enemy in 3 levels of playing him), before the dwarf finished him off with a ranged attack, finally ending the fight.

All in all, I really liked that final battle. Between the terrain and variety of enemies, it was long and challenging, but lots of fun. I can see how a smaller group of level 3-4 PCs could have serious trouble surviving it, though. With 6 of us, it was tough, but winnable.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I ran this Saturday, and my last fight was sadly short. He only got one spell off and the barbarian ran and jumped to the final bridge easily making it, with the Magus a step behind. The paladin cast Knights move which caused Aglorn to have to do nothing but move towards the paladin on his turn, which lead him right towards the barbarian and magus. He didn't get off another spell after that.

I did get two of them to read the tablets, and they also set off the explosive runes.

I gotta say, they all liked the not-so-subtle nods to Stargate.

They did have a question about the Demon Stone thing. The description mentions they are often attached to weapons. Is that something that can actually be done? Can they add them to a weapon or was it just fluff?

Qadira ***

(Spoiled for Wall of Text)

We played this last weekend as well at Tier 6-7, I thought it was an excellent module. Despite being a "dungeon crawl" there were plenty of opportunities for roleplaying as well.

Spoiler:
We set an ambush for the guards and the skill-monkey cleric (don't ask) just stood in plain sight bluffing away about the "Plane Shift gone terribly awry" while everyone else got in position to make short work of them when combat broke out. The only character who could read Abyssal for role-playing reasons refused to try to solve any of the riddles. Had a lot of fun sorta promising the demon we would help, then pulling out the "no, we said we would clear out the Aspis, not let you through" card. (Did I mention it was a cleric of Asmodeus?)

Most of the fights were cake for our group of four but the final boss was epically good. It probably took a while but it didn't feel that long.
Spoiler:
The archers and summons were pushovers but the final boss was a huge challenge. Everything that was done to him was effective for about one round, then he escaped. A Wall of Fire got dropped around him while he was summoning, then he flew right out the top. He got nailed with a pretty vicious Hold Person for tier 6-7 (DC 22), and he got out of it on the second turn. Then he started teleporting. Black Tentacles grabbed most of the party, the fireball staggered one and downed (temporarily) another. He finally ran out of Dimensional Steps movement and the melee caught him (after he put them on the other side of a Wall of Fire from him).

I felt that this was the perfect level of "we really might die" without the horror of "there's nothing we can do."

Excellent enemies and area meant that the GM can pretty much make a great scenario happen with minimal effort.

***

I was looking this over to run for my group this weekend, but I had a question about the abilities of the BBEG...

Spoiler:
In tier 3-4 it is stated that Algorn is a 5th level Conjurer and has the "Dimensional Step" ability, but if memory serves that ability doesn't come until 8th level.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

@Loveskud, yeah, I caught that too. You're right he doesn't have it yet. Which kinda messes up his tactics.

Shadow Lodge **

Oooh, I missed that when I ran my game. I ran the statblock as written. Yeah, that would have made a huge difference in my game.

Silver Crusade **

I did not know that. Yeah, that would have really messed up the whole final battle. If I were GMing, I'd just assume that he had a special unpublished feat or something that gives him that ability early, just to preserve the scenario as written. It was very cool when he used that when we were fighting him this past weekend.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

I was the GM running Belafon's game above and I would agree on the dimensional steps. It really keeps the party on their toes and is the only "out" the BBEG has (besides fly).

and Black Tentacles is awesome :)

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

I was lucky enough to have played this at PaizoCon with Myron (Winnipeg Venture-Officer, last name escaping me). Dude pulled out ALL the stops and made a foamcore 3D battle map for the last encounter (and for the False Gate puzzle). It was such an awesome visual; I'm doing the same for my local PFS group this Saturday.

We played at the 3-4 tier. Took out the first group easily, but the paladin refused to wear the amulet and we had to take on the guardian. Figured out the puzzle and raced through the second guards. The end battle went pretty well until the fireball hit. We lost a cleric when the bridge gave way (200 feet straight down into the midden pile), and the rest of us PCs (who were able) spent some time playing 'Long Jump Marathon' across the chasms. I've never been so lucky with my Acrobatics rolls.

It was the best scenario amongst a group of excellent scenarios that I played in. Much love to Mr. Wilhelm, the author, who was hanging around our table near the end, marveling over the construction skills of the GM. Damn fine scenario. Damn fine!

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the feedback thus far. I'm GMing this tonight and excited to run it. Wish I would have snuck away with Myron's cool 3d terrain for this.

Silver Crusade **

Is he supposed to fireball one of the bridges? That's apparently two groups mentioning that he burned a bridge out from under them.

As mentioned above, when my group played it, he fireballed us in the first round, which makes sense, since we were mostly still together. Only two out of six of us had acted before him and gotten on to the bridges, so the other four got blasted while still standing on non-flammable ground, and the bridges remained intact.

Shadow Lodge **

During Combat wrote:

Aglorn begins combat by summoning

monsters to waylay the PCs along the rope bridges
and plateaus, doing so as far as his range will allow. He
summons creatures in the following order: 1d3 fiendish
giant spiders (summon monster III), 1d3 lemures (summon monster III from his bonded item), and 1d3 fiendish dire rats
(summon monster II), each using the Augment Summoning
feat and 1 charge of Aglorn’s lesser extend metamagic rod.
Once he can see the PCs, he uses the next round to catch
as many of them as possible in a fireball, and casts dispel
magic on the first PC he sees flying or otherwise using
magic to gain mobility across the treacherous terrain. If he
is cornered in melee, he uses his dimensional steps spell-
like ability to escape and continue the combat at range.

I went back and forth on how to interpret when the fireball would be dropped (would he summon three times and then drop it OR summon once and then drop the fireball it as "he can see the PCs"?)-- I went with him building a wall of summons on the first plateau then hitting the PCs while they were bunched up--which in this case, had them on the bridge.

GM NOTE: The lighting condition is DIM throughout the cavern, so remember that 20% miss chance for anyone outside a light radius. It makes Aglorn and the Archer(s) harder to kill and forces the PCs to decide on ditching their carried light sources.

Silver Crusade **

When we played it, he had two summons done before we entered the room, which is unsurprising given the noise we were making all the way down. I can't remember if he summoned the third time before or after throwing the fireball, but those were definitely his first two actions in combat.

The summoned spiders climbed up on the plateau in the middle of the room, to go after our ranged combatant who had moved there. The rats and lemures went for the bridges, and met our team halfway on the bridges and plateaus. I kept summoning eagles to get in the caster's face, and he wasted two rounds killing them before deciding to ignore them to go after the rest of us. It was only when our main team got close to him that he dimension stepped to the entrance, where my sorcerer was standing alone.

I think our GM forgot about the lighting issues, which I suppose is easy to overlook. We had several light sources (light spells on weapons, sunrods attached to belts), so it probably wouldn't have mattered for melee, but the ranged combatants might have had issues with it.

Qadira ***

Michael Brock wrote:
Thanks for the feedback thus far. I'm GMing this tonight and excited to run it. Wish I would have snuck away with Myron's cool 3d terrain for this.

I haven't read it, just played it, but from what Carlos told us and I've read here the one thing I would be most concerned about is running the tactics as written. If you go all Caubo and have the forewarned BBEG ready a fireball to cast as soon as there are two people on a bridge you're probably looking at a TPK.

Having played in a couple of your games Mike I'm sure you'll find a way to make it incredibly difficult AND fun.

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

So I am trying to understand the on the false gate but it seems to be eluding me.

What I understand...

The Amulet acts as a Dial, got that. that is pretty much as far as my deciphering on what the author is trying to say goes.

Main Question

How do you stop one Ring from turning and locking the rune in place and start turning the next ring?

Also I think it would have been better to describe how many runes there are on each ring.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

I was lucky in that our GM at PaizoCON MADE A MODEL OF THE RING. Can I simply highlight how AWESOME that was? I'm still in awe of Myron's construction abilities.

The way we played it, the control panel (controlled by the amulet) could be turned in three different directions from the 12 o'clock starting point - clockwise 45 degrees, 180 degrees, or counter-clockwise 45 degrees. In order to not trigger the trap, the player has to turn the control panel to each setting and allow for the proper rune in the corresponding ring to circle to the 12 o'clock point before moving on to the next setting. Once all three are in place, the false gate opens.

Turning the control panel to one setting and then back to the start (12 o'clock) point discharges the trap. The rings corresponded in our game as follows:

45 degrees clockwise - outer ring
180 degrees - middle ring
45 degrees counter-clockwise - inner ring

Each of the rings had approximately 30 different runes on it. No way random chance was going to solve this puzzle.

I hope all this helps. The GM mentioned that of the 4 groups that he had run the adventure with to date, only one solved the ring without discharging the trap. It's made to be hard, but they can always Disable Device to bypass it.

-Dink

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

My group discharged it I think 4-5 times at least... No one could read abyssal.

Andoran **

Hey everyone. I have two questions about the last map in this module.

Map question one:
The first bridge leading from the northern platform across the chasm appears to be 5 foot in width, the rest of the bridges appear to be ten foot. When you've played the module, did you treat the first bridge as 5 foot wide or 10 foot wide?

Map question two:
In the lower right hand corner of the map there appears to be the remnants of a bridge beside the staircase leading down. Why is this bridge included? For flavour alone?

I'm trying to draw the map accurately and I want to make sure I have a clear picture of what exactly I'm drawing! :)

Thanks kindly.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I made them all approximately the same width. I'm guessing that the Aspis cut the bridge so that anyone trying to get to the last plateau would have to take the long route.

Shadow Lodge **

I made bridge one 5' wide. I omitted drawing the destroyed bridge as there was enough going on on the map already.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm the author. The bridges are all intended to be 10 feet wide. Also, the omitted bridge is in fact a cut and now useless bridge.

Shadow Lodge **

Has anyone noticed that Aglorn (Tier 3-4) gets Dimensional Step as a level 5 conjurer? Conjurers don't get this power until level 8 (Thus tier 6-7 is correct). A minor gripe, but worth mentioning.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
dinketry wrote:
Stuff

I must be dense, because your description of the encounter on how it works, is actually make me more confused...

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I believe he meant 90 degrees instead of 45 degrees. Turn it 1/4 turn clockwise, the outer ring moves. Turn it another 1/4 turn and the outer ring stops where its at then the middle ring moves. Turn it another 1/4 turn and the middle ring stops while the inner ring moves. Turn it 1/4 more and its back to its original orientation and the trap goes off or the portal opens.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Ok, that does not say a few things..

There are many symbols you need it to stop a the right one, if you turn it 1/4 turn clockwise where does it stop? The next Symbol? How do you get it to stop at the correct symbol? As describe it says it moves, but does not say how to pick the specific symbols you want and then lock it.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

It moves until you turn the key again. As long as its at 3, 6, 9, one of those discs are moving. At least that's how I read it.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

oh I get it, you don't turn the dial again until the rune you want is at the Apex.

I was thinking that every turn of the dial just moved it one rune and it stopped.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, New Zealand—Dunedin aka dinketry

Oops. 90 degrees is correct. Not 45 degrees.

I failed 9th grade geometry. It's my hidden shame!

*sob*

And yes, Eric speaks the strange language that I speak.

-Dink

Andoran **

Larcifer wrote:
I'm the author. The bridges are all intended to be 10 feet wide. Also, the omitted bridge is in fact a cut and now useless bridge.

Thanks for the clarification. :)

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Neil Mansell wrote:
Has anyone noticed that Aglorn (Tier 3-4) gets Dimensional Step as a level 5 conjurer? Conjurers don't get this power until level 8 (Thus tier 6-7 is correct). A minor gripe, but worth mentioning.

This isn't just a minor gripe; it's actually kind of a big deal to the encounter. It vastly changes what he's capable of doing.

Ditto with the Imp familiar. You don't get access to one of these until you're 7th level. If he doesn't have this familiar, a lot of his tactics change, and the quasit becomes a real issue for the bad guys.

How are we supposed to handle these discrepancies?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Drogon wrote:
Neil Mansell wrote:
Has anyone noticed that Aglorn (Tier 3-4) gets Dimensional Step as a level 5 conjurer? Conjurers don't get this power until level 8 (Thus tier 6-7 is correct). A minor gripe, but worth mentioning.

This isn't just a minor gripe; it's actually kind of a big deal to the encounter. It vastly changes what he's capable of doing.

Ditto with the Imp familiar. You don't get access to one of these until you're 7th level. If he doesn't have this familiar, a lot of his tactics change, and the quasit becomes a real issue for the bad guys.

How are we supposed to handle these discrepancies?

I will be adjusting the encounter to remove dimensional step in the low subtier. That was an unfortunate error that our statblock generator slipped in, and the encounter was built around it. Getting that fixed is high on my scenario fixes agenda.

As for the imp, you'll note that Duchess isn't Aglorn's familiar in the low subtier; she's got a CR and it's calculated into the total for the encounter. In the low subtier, Aglorn's arcane bond is a ring.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

I agree that the Dimensional Steps is a big deal, and I just ran it without using them. (It just frustrates me because this is the 2nd thing I've ran now which had that same exact problem.)

However, in Tier 3-4, the imp is factored into the XP for the encounter (CR 4 + CR 3 + CR 2 = 1200+800+600 = 2600 which is around the CR 6 2400)

EDIT: Geez. Pretty sure this is the second time I've been beaten to the punch by Mark Moreland.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Mark Moreland wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Neil Mansell wrote:
Has anyone noticed that Aglorn (Tier 3-4) gets Dimensional Step as a level 5 conjurer? Conjurers don't get this power until level 8 (Thus tier 6-7 is correct). A minor gripe, but worth mentioning.

This isn't just a minor gripe; it's actually kind of a big deal to the encounter. It vastly changes what he's capable of doing.

Ditto with the Imp familiar. You don't get access to one of these until you're 7th level. If he doesn't have this familiar, a lot of his tactics change, and the quasit becomes a real issue for the bad guys.

How are we supposed to handle these discrepancies?

I will be adjusting the encounter to remove dimensional step in the low subtier. That was an unfortunate error that our statblock generator slipped in, and the encounter was built around it. Getting that fixed is high on my scenario fixes agenda.

As for the imp, you'll note that Duchess isn't Aglorn's familiar in the low subtier; she's got a CR and it's calculated into the total for the encounter. In the low subtier, Aglorn's arcane bond is a ring.

Ah, missed that. Glad to see that one's okay.

Sad about the dimensional step, though. The fact that the encounter was built around it is definitely apparent, and this change will make it a pretty dull (or frustrating) encounter. Is there any way to give him a one-shot use, at least? A cape of the mountebank, or some such option? As a conjurer, he really doesn't need the lesser extend metamagic rod, as he'll get 7 rounds per summon, already. Lose that and give him the cape (or some other item that I don't recall right now). Besides, a cape of the mountebank as treasure would be pretty cool.

Hope you can work it out. And thanks for the response.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So I'm going to be running this tomorrow, and I see that Mark mentioned intending to make some changes. Have those been made yet? Should I re-download the scenario?

If not, should I act as though they have?

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Jiggy wrote:

So I'm going to be running this tomorrow, and I see that Mark mentioned intending to make some changes. Have those been made yet? Should I re-download the scenario?

If not, should I act as though they have?

No, the fixes have not been made. I think I saw somewhere that he has a "to-do" list that he needs to accomplish *after* the GenCon crush is over. This one's error puts it at the top of the list, but that doesn't mean it will get done before other things that MUST be done for GenCon.

My suggestion: run it as written. The setting for that last encounter obviously was designed to make use of his mobility. When Mark redoes it he will have to include something that mimics the step (replacing dispel magic with fly, perhaps). Otherwise the setting it takes place in will simply be viewed as a crap-load of work with no satisfying payoff (whether in terms of GM prep or PCs' time to close the gap).

Andoran ***

Jiggy wrote:

So I'm going to be running this tomorrow, and I see that Mark mentioned intending to make some changes. Have those been made yet? Should I re-download the scenario?

If not, should I act as though they have?

When they put updated versions of PDFs on the website, they also send out an email to registered owners of the PDF that there has been an update, and it is available for you to download.

Of course, you need to have that option enabled, but I do, and think it is worth it to find out when things like the recent Bestiary 2 update was released.

In the interim, all I can advise is running the scenario as written.

Spoiler:
If you run at 3-4, pay attention to the earlier combats, and use how the PCs did, and the potential for increased frustration levels, as a guideline for whether to let the BBEG keep the Dimensional Step ability or not.

I played the scenario with Iammars as GM, and he fixed the BBEG back to RAW, and, given our party, that may not have been the optimal choice. Then again, we had a PC who could fly on his own, and my PC used up one of his grab bag of potions, the Potion of Fly, after the BBEG tried to Dispel the other PC's flying ability. That outcome, however, was purely the luck of the initiative, as the BBEG went after PC 1 showed he could fly, and before I decided to add my PC to the "take the shortcut" group.

Cheliax ***

Drogon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Neil Mansell wrote:
Has anyone noticed that Aglorn (Tier 3-4) gets Dimensional Step as a level 5 conjurer? Conjurers don't get this power until level 8 (Thus tier 6-7 is correct). A minor gripe, but worth mentioning.

This isn't just a minor gripe; it's actually kind of a big deal to the encounter. It vastly changes what he's capable of doing.

Ditto with the Imp familiar. You don't get access to one of these until you're 7th level. If he doesn't have this familiar, a lot of his tactics change, and the quasit becomes a real issue for the bad guys.

How are we supposed to handle these discrepancies?

I will be adjusting the encounter to remove dimensional step in the low subtier. That was an unfortunate error that our statblock generator slipped in, and the encounter was built around it. Getting that fixed is high on my scenario fixes agenda.

As for the imp, you'll note that Duchess isn't Aglorn's familiar in the low subtier; she's got a CR and it's calculated into the total for the encounter. In the low subtier, Aglorn's arcane bond is a ring.

Ah, missed that. Glad to see that one's okay.

Sad about the dimensional step, though. The fact that the encounter was built around it is definitely apparent, and this change will make it a pretty dull (or frustrating) encounter. Is there any way to give him a one-shot use, at least? A cape of the mountebank, or some such option? As a conjurer, he really doesn't need the lesser extend metamagic rod, as he'll get 7 rounds per summon, already. Lose that and give him the cape (or some other item that I don't recall right now). Besides, a cape of the mountebank as treasure would be pretty cool.

Hope you can work it out. And thanks for the response.

Perhaps consider giving him a focused arcane school from the Advanced Players Guide? The one I'm thinking of is below. It's not as good as dimensional step, but lets him poof 10 ft. as a swift action up to 7 times during the encounter at the low tier.

Teleportation School

Associated School: Conjuration.

Replacement Power: The following school power replaces the acid dart power of the conjuration school.

Shift (Su): At 1st level, you can teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using dimension door. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You must be able to see the space that you are moving into. You cannot take other creatures with you when you use this ability (except for familiars). You can move 5 feet for every two wizard levels you possess (minimum 5 feet). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

Andoran **

Hey everyone,

Question about Dutchess:

Reach and Flanking:
In the tactics section, it states that part of Dutchess' role is to flank with summoned creatures, but her reach is 0, so how can she flank?

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Silverhand wrote:

Hey everyone,

Question about Dutchess:

** spoiler omitted **

She occupies the same square as her target. If she is invisible, she still threatens, by the way, so the flank is still valid.

***** Venture-Captain, New Jersey aka Shivok

"Ninjaiguana wrote:
Perhaps consider giving him a focused arcane school from the Advanced Players Guide? The one I'm thinking of is below. It's not as good as dimensional step, but lets him poof 10 ft. as a swift action up to 7 times...

+1

Qadira ***

Drogon wrote:
Silverhand wrote:

Hey everyone,

Question about Dutchess:

** spoiler omitted **

She occupies the same square as her target. If she is invisible, she still threatens, by the way, so the flank is still valid.

??

what?
I do not beleave that you can provide flank from the same square. Otherwise I can move into your square when you are in a corner, and provide a flank for the three other creatures trying to hit you.

1A
BC

1 would be flanked by someone in his square... and by A, B and C?
No, I do not think it works that way.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

nosig wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Silverhand wrote:

Hey everyone,

Question about Dutchess:

** spoiler omitted **

She occupies the same square as her target. If she is invisible, she still threatens, by the way, so the flank is still valid.

??

what?
I do not beleave that you can provide flank from the same square. Otherwise I can move into your square when you are in a corner, and provide a flank for the three other creatures trying to hit you.

1A
BC

1 would be flanked by someone in his square... and by A, B and C?
No, I do not think it works that way.

Very true. From the Core Rule Book on page 197:

Quote:
Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.

That makes her pretty crummy as a flanking buddy. I guess she'd have to use Beast Shape I to become something that has reach, in that case.

Shadow Lodge ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I ran this for 2 groups, both at tier 6-7, end fight was brutal for both. Before the last fight, as none decided to wear the amulets, the statue room was nasty and had worn them down and used consumables. Neither bothered to check for traps or detect magic on the way down and tripped the alarm.

So up went the wind wall and as they buffed a few rounds before making that last turn to see the first bridge, Aglorn was more then ready.

I used his overland flight to stay just at the max range of his massive AoE damage spells and peppered both parties until he was out of spells is pretty much what happened.

Rolled the various summons and then hit with a fireball as they grouped to decide what to do at first bridge, then used black tentacles on first plateau to slow them up, archers and summoned creatures came into play, and just hammered on them from that point forward. 2nd fireball, wall of fire, acid arrows, and scorching rays. Bridges destroyed and magic missles.

One group had their main tank go down, then after looting him, the archers kicked his unconscious form off a plateau to the cavern floor below before rejoining the fight. Good thing they missed his ring of feather fall (wink wink).

A gunslinger MADE the fortitude save after a coup de grace, how many times does that happen ?

Dispel magic knocked a flier down and he ended up down in the deeper part of the cavern with an ally in a bag of holding. Neither have good climb checks and spent rest of fight down there.

One group retreated to heal then all went invisible, they tested the waters by having one go back out, Aglorn ignored the bait, waited for them all to show, try and cross then hit them with stinking cloud as a "I SEE YOU".

Well over 25-30 rounds the fight lasted for both groups. We all had a good time and laughed about some of the antics and events that happened.

Andoran **

Drogon said wrote:
That makes her pretty crummy as a flanking buddy. I guess she'd have to use Beast Shape I to become something that has reach, in that case.

Smart point! I'll use Beast Shape I tonight to see what happens. This should make Duchess far more useful for flanking.

Thanks for that insight.

Andoran **

Hey everyone,

I just finished GMing this module at Tier 6-7.

It was amazing!

A few notes from our game session:

Spoiler:

1) I decided to use the Imp (Duchess) for flanking bonuses (using Beast Shape I to take on the shape of a giant spider). Sadly, it was so cramped on the plateau that my players 5 foot stepped into the medium, invisible spider. I also attacked, making the invisibility useless. Next time, I'll try a less crowded area to use the imp more effectively.

2) A thought about the archers defending the conjurer: I had my archers using their arrows to the bitter end. One PC jumped across from the first platform to the southern most bridge. I used my archers to try and slow her down. NEXT TIME I'd have my archer drop his bow and grapple to protect the conjurer.

3) Minor note about metagaming potential: the undershrine map is gorgeous, but according to the description, the players can't see the bottom floor. Not sure how to get around that one because once the map is on the table, the players are going to see the deeper ravines and avoid jumping anywhere near them (the -200 foot crevasses). Hmm...any thoughts on that?


Thanks!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Silverhand wrote:

A few notes from our game session:

** spoiler omitted **

regarding not seeing the bottom floor:

Are you drawing the map on a grid? If so, just don't draw the bottom until someone can see it.

Are you printing it out and blowing it up? Then the day before you run it, take some blank printer paper and using scissors cut out pieces to cover the bottom floor of the map. Bonus points if you use black construction paper (to represent its dark down there)

I have seen this done before in the past: take black construction paper and cut out a bunch of circles, maybe 2 inches in diameter each. In an hour you should end up with dozens of them, at least. After you draw the map for an adventure, dump these black circles on top of the map and spread them out with your hands. Then as your party explores the map, simply push aside with your hands the circles as their field of vision extends.

It's kinda like fog of war in computer RTS games, and it's a great addition to atmosphere. Pretty easy to cleanup too, just dump in a plastic bag after the session.

Qadira ***

CRobledo - I like that!!
I'm running this at a local Con soon and I need to do this!

*****

CRobledo wrote:

I have seen this done before in the past: take black construction paper and cut out a bunch of circles, maybe 2 inches in diameter each. In an hour you should end up with dozens of them, at least. After you draw the map for an adventure, dump these black circles on top of the map and spread them out with your hands. Then as your party explores the map, simply push aside with your hands the circles as their field of vision extends.

It's kinda like fog of war in computer RTS games, and it's a great addition to atmosphere. Pretty easy to cleanup too, just dump in a plastic bag after the session.

I like this idea! I'll have to put my 8 year old to work cutting circles.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Old trick I used back in AD&D 2nd and early 3.0 *grin*

circle cutters speed it up a ton! (It's like a compass with a pencil like the ones you used to have in geometry class, but instead of a pencil, it has an exacto knife; find at your local craft store, YMMV)

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